#17 NEW MEXICO FRAGMENTS (1-4) by Valerie Martinez

1.
The sky’s a triplet—
indigo, navy, dusty pink.
Thirteen gargantuan ravens.
Bits in their beaks; Asian eyes.
Cheeky moon playing Jupiter.
I count nineteen black branches
and Lorca’s three gold letters:
SUN.

2.
The curve of the horizon
and white interior walls.
Which is to say,
a woman and a man
in a room of light,
and the earth supine
under a violet sky.
Is to say, the ceremony
of the body. A hand wanders
to a chip of wulfenite,
a mile away from the arrowhead,
dug up. To say,
I pull the clay up and out,
round and high as I am.

3.
We cannot explain our love of mountains,
clay-red, dotted with piñon, chamisa, yucca.
Perhaps it is the expanse between them,
the sky which fills the space, immense,
the breath opened up like a holy book
blank and ever-blue, on and on.

4.
Seeing O’Keeffe’s “Patio Door”
we cannot but think of the tongue,
the tongue on fire. It floats,
as does the oblique darkness of door,
the adobe wall going left,
the sky’s blue mist lifting.
Here is the eye’s ruse, suspension,
the leaf gone green and hot yellow.
The breath. The utter silence.
Gone aloft.


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